The Monitor’s collaboration with the Energy Foundation

The Energy Foundation has given a grant to support the Monitor’s distinctive approach to climate change coverage.

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/File
A power-generating windmill turbine stands in a wind park in Flesquieres near Cambrai, France.

The Monitor believes the solution to climate change doesn’t come from speaking more loudly or citing even more peer-reviewed science, but from recognizing why people come to climate change from such vastly different perspectives – and meeting them where they are. Changing minds to find paths forward starts with a deep commitment to humanity and respect, not from frustrated finger-pointing.

That perspective has drawn the attention of some philanthropists interested in supporting media outlets bringing light to this divisive topic. The Monitor’s science desk is the proud recipient of a special grant from the Energy Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to “serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.” You can read more about the Energy Foundation here. These funds are specifically to bolster the Monitor’s approach to coverage of climate, energy, and the environment during the coming year.

Among the themes that we expect to explore: 

  • Moving beyond the siloed thinking that pits the environment against the economy. Does environmental protection really kill jobs? Is there economic opportunity for blue-collar workers in renewables? Where are corporate interests driving sustainable innovation?
  • Disrupting the divisive narrative that places conservatism and environmentalism in opposition. In much of the media, environmentalism is too often painted with a solely liberal brush. In actuality, a great number of conservatives care deeply about the natural world and welcome the role of stewardship of the land. Conservative fishermen on the Chesapeake and ranchers in the West see themselves as active participants in the survival of the local ecosystem, for instance. By helping these communities to share their stories with the rest of the country, this grant will help us shift the nature of dialogue around environmental stewardship from a battle between opposing teams to a more collaborative approach with a diverse set of ideals.
  • How faith shapes views of climate action and how climate change became a question of faith. Religious communities and values play an outsized role in shaping how Americans view the world and their role in it. Though ideologies differ widely, many of the underlying values found in America’s religious are rooted in complementary, if not similar, ideals. Shedding light on these ideals can open minds to explore the possibility of finding common ground. 

For more than a century, the Monitor has brought humanity and insight to the problems of the day, helping readers to understand others and recognize the advances that are constantly reshaping the world. Through its generous support, the Energy Foundation is helping us expand and promote that mission. Stories funded by the Energy Foundation’s grant will include a short tagline at the bottom to recognize the organization’s commitment to Monitor journalism. 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.